As part of our August focus on companion animal abuse, I'm writing to alert you to the cruelty involved in the sale of caged birds and to urge you to take action to help stop the suffering of these wonderful animals.
I'm sure that you're aware of our nation's dog and cat overpopulation crisis. But did you know that birds bred for the pet trade face the same problem?
That's right. Just as puppy mills irresponsibly churn out hundreds of thousands of dogs for mall stores to sell while others are killed for want of a good home, huge commercial operations breed birds in factory-like conditions and sell their babies to stores like PetSmart.
Right now, it is estimated that there are about 40 million birds living in small cages in U.S. homes. Thousands upon thousands of them have become neurotic from loneliness and boredom, and they are all a long way from the wild open skies where they belong.
These sensitive birds are condemned to live out their entire lives--a few decades for most and as long as 80 years for larger species like macaws--as mere decorations in people's homes.
Holding birds captive and denying them of their natural urges to fly and to be with others of their own kind often drive them insane.
Many people tire quickly of birds after buying them or aren't prepared to care for highly demanding and very noisy animals--birds scream for a mate and for attention.
This means that many are yelled at, kept covered with a cloth in order to silence them, relegated to a basement, or worse.
Bird shelters cannot adequately handle the demand for them to take additional birds: They are full, and most are so crowded and understaffed that incoming birds--some blind or turning in circles because of madness--cannot get all the attention that they need.
That's why PETA works so hard to convince pet stores to stop selling birds. PETCO--the nation's largest pet-store chain next to PetSmart--agreed last year to stop selling all large species of birds after PETA met with company representatives.
Despite claiming that it cares about animals, PetSmart still cages and sells birds, a practice that results in immense suffering for these intelligent and naturally lively beings.
Please help birds! Take action right now by urging PetSmart to stop selling birds.
Just two minutes of your time can make a real difference for tens of thousands of animals. And please tell everyone you know to learn about this problem and not shop at PetSmart until the company stops selling birds.